It was a Wednesday morning, and I was dutifully going through the mom routine of making sure my kids were fed, dressed, and actually wearing sweaters, because doggone it, it’s freezing outside and it’s not even November yet. The goal of said morning routine is to make sure they are ready to leave the house for school in a relatively peaceful and timely manner. I had my morning groove rocking in full effect, which looks like soft praise and worship music playing, morning checklist out and visible, and school bags packed the night before. See my blog post:
When all of a sudden, breaking my peaceful morning mojo came a blood curdling scream from the bathroom. “Katherine! You uuusseeddd my toothbrush! Aghhh!” Well, there went my utopic version of my morning routine aspirations for the day. This statement was immediately followed by, “I DID NOT! That’s MY toothbrush!” Then, “It is not! Mine is the pink one, yours is blue and mine is WET! That’s so GROSS!” Followed by, stomping and loud grunting/screaming noises by said offender as she retreated into the other room to dissolve in a pile of tears.
Yep. That was my “peaceful” morning. More like my morning was falling to “pieces”. So I did what every normal mother would do. I began fantasizing about running out the back door to an awaiting private jet piloted by John Travolta (from the Grease days) who was ready to fly me to Bora Bora where my over-the-water bungalow stocked with a myriad of fruit juice drinks awaited me. And then I snapped out of it.
I did however, in a calm voice, explained to each of them that we would come up with a solution and talk about it in a civilized manner once everyone had calmed down. Right now, their job was to finish getting ready so we could get to school before it was time for lunch.
After the huffing and stomping subsided, and the focus went from the falsely accosted toothbrush to our puppy who, thankfully likes to do goofy things at just the right moment, we successfully made it into the car.
Now I had them. You know what I mean, moms and dads. The car is our power play. The kids are strapped down, and locked into a moving vehicle that if they try to escape will cause extreme bodily harm. They are at our mercy. (Evil laugh here.)
But in all seriousness, as much as I dislike situations that cause chaos and disruption in our family; I look at them as learning opportunities. This was a perfect chance to reinforce much needed skills of communication, problem solving, and compromise. And I do this A LOT with my girls. I want them to know how to handle conflict, and be able to communicate their side of the story. More importantly, I want them to learn to listen to the other person’s side of the story and solve problems through compromise.
This is how I typically mediate these types of conversations:
First I state the problem using “I” statements.
“Girls, I can see that there is some confusion about which toothbrush is yours in the bathroom cabinet. Is that correct?” The response from the backseat is often the offended jumping down the offender’s throat again which I immediately try to stop. I have found that if I can keep my voice calm and maintain that calm in the conversation it helps A LOT. Once we are all on the same page and each person has stated what the problem is then I move onto a question.
“How did that make you feel when (whatever the offense was) happened?”
I lay down clear guidelines that all parties are held accountable to, and those are: respect for the person speaking, eye contact, and no interrupting. After each person, including the offender, has had a chance to share their feelings then it’s time for question number two.
“What would be a good solution so that (XYZ problem) doesn’t happen again?”
Those same guidelines of respect come into play, and each person takes a turn sharing an idea that they feel would help rectify the situation. This often takes time and usually the first ideas are pretty unrealistic, but I help guide the conversation and show the girls where each one can give a little so that ultimately THEY decide on a final plan. Did you catch that? I said, THEY, decide on the plan. Do I help direct and maybe throw a few suggestions to give them ideas that I know will be successful? Sure! But they are taking ownership in the plan so therefore, they are invested in it and the outcome.
Then lastly, we complete the loop. By that, I mean each person apologizes and asks the other for forgiveness.
Apologize and Ask Forgiveness
Don’t forget that last part! The forgiveness piece is KEY!! Start teaching your kids the importance of not only asking for forgiveness, but also giving forgiveness. Even if they don’t feel the forgiveness in their heart at that very moment, even speaking the words out loud, “I forgive you”, is healing.
Especially in the world we live in, one that is terribly divided and hurting from so much hate and anger, start teaching your children how to love one another. Learning to love one another during conflict begins with stating the problem, respectfully listening to both sides, coming up with a solution that is full of compromise, and then apologies and forgiveness.
You may be wondering how the whole toothbrush saga turned out. The girls decided that they each needed their own shelf in the bathroom cabinet so there was no confusion over which toothbrush belonged to who in the communal toothbrush cup. How did that affect me? It meant an immediate trip to Target to buy shelf organizers, two matching cups, and alas, two clean toothbrushes.
I was happy to take one for the team.
As I sat down to write this morning, I opened my laptop and immediately got a message and a little picture of a low battery with minimal juice. The message said, “Low Battery. Your Mac will sleep soon unless plugged into a power outlet.” Ha. Funny! That’s how I feel somedays. Somebody plug me in, quick!
There are days when I wish I could actually connect myself to a Tesla Supercharger station and fill up my much depleted tank of energy. No amount of perfectly brewed Americanos made by those heavenly angels sent to Earth from God, (a.k.a. Starbucks baristas) can give me the kick I often need to keep going. Life is draining! Can I get an AMEN?!
It seems that these days, we are being called to wear a lot of different hats. If you’re a mom, you may be working from home, all while being “teacher” to your homeschooled children, chef to your family preparing three square meals everyday, dog walker, house cleaner, family taxi driver, community volunteer, and the list goes on.
There are nights when I literally fall in my bed, attempt to read a chapter in a book, but have absolutely NO IDEA what I just read. My eyes are crossing and my brain feels like the fuzz I’m finding in the corners of my house because I can’t keep up with it all. “Low Battery. Your body will sleep soon unless plugged into a power outlet.” Totally me.
Yes, a good night’s sleep always helps and if you’re lucky enough to get that, it’s possible that you can wake up feeling a bit recharged and ready to tackle your day. Physically, and maybe mentally, you’re running on most cylinders, but emotionally are you still feeling depleted? And as the day goes on are you falling back into that pattern of feeling completely worn out and exhausted by the grind?
Maybe you need to plug into a true power source that will give you the internal juice to keep you going each day. For example, someone who works all day and uses a laptop, and wants to be efficient with their time, makes sure their computer is fully charged first thing in the morning. That’s what we should do too! Yes, coffee is always helpful, but that’s not what I mean.
Are you plugging into your life source every morning before you start your day? I set aside 20-30 minutes every morning for time with the Lord. If you only have 15 minutes, then take that! I literally put this time on my schedule, and it’s a non-negotiable for me. I get up before the kids are awake, and I sit in the same comfy chair with my cup of tea, and I get still. I quiet my mind and ask God to show me what He has for me today. Next, I get out whatever devotional book I’m working through, (my favorite is Jesus Calling by Sarah Young) and then I open my Bible.
Some mornings I just read where I left off. Currently, I’m reading straight through the New Testament. Other mornings I may have a verse that jumps out at me in my devotional so I decide to do a deep dive into that verse and I meditate on that alone.
Lastly, and before I jump up to get the girls’ cereal ready and grapefruits cut, I ask Him to go before me and order my day. Yes, ORDER MY DAY. You heard that right. Coming from the queen of To-Do lists I have learned to hold those lists lightly. I make them, but then I release my grip on them and ask God to show me what His priorities are for me over the next 24 hours.
I keep this conversation going throughout the day and even when the phone rings, I say a quick prayer. “Lord, do you want me to answer that right now, or should I let the caller leave a message, and I call them back at a time that’s better.”
The cool thing about all of this is it gives me energy. Am I still tired at the end of the day? Of course! But do I feel like I’ve been thrown on a Tilt-A-Whirl, run over by a truck, and had my brains whipped with an egg beater? Nope.
Jeremiah 16:7 says “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out it’s roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
John 4:14 says, “but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
Jesus’ living water is the power source that we all have the freedom to plug into on a daily basis. Let Him energize you and fill you with a power that will never fade. One that produces beautiful fruit. Plant your roots deep in those living streams and I promise you, you will feel refreshed.
I think this is by far my favorite time of the year for Beautycounter. It’s when Christmas comes in October! Literally. Every year Beautycounter comes out with beautiful, unique holiday gift collections, and every year I go a little nutso over them. This year is no different!
I thought I’d take a minute to break down each gift set and share a little about each one, why I like it, and maybe who it might be a perfect gift for. I’ll divide them into three categories, (Make Up, Skin Care, and Body) so it’s easier to follow along. Let’s jump in! Santa’s not getting any younger!
This palette includes four eyeshadows, a soft blush and an illuminating highlighter. It also has a built-in mirror! This palette is formulated using responsibly sourced mica, and NO talc.
Why I like it: I love having all of my shadows, blush, and highlighters in one spot. No more fishing around in the makeup drawer trying to find everything. It’s great for travel too! The colors can easily go from a natural “day look” to a more dramatic evening look, and I feel like they would compliment any skin tone.
Oh boy. Where do I start on this one? These became my daughters’ favorite holiday gift set last year when Beautycounter first debuted them. These are sweet little lip glosses that are perfect for throwing in your purse or pocket for a quick lip pick-me-up. This year Beautycounter is offering two sets. This first one that is currently available is called the Shimmers. These have five different shades and flavors. (Cocoa, Caramel, Peppermint, Sorbet, and Honey)
Why I like it: What’s not to like? The jellies take me back to my “Lip Smacker” days, big time. They are perfect for winter to add a little natural color, sparkle, and moisture to your lips, and they are great for any age. Like I mentioned earlier, these make great stocking stuffers for your daughters, or granddaughters too!
Beautycounter recently updated our lip glosses and they are gorgeous. The Beyond Gloss Trio is a limited edition three pack that will keep you covered in any situation. It has three shades, (Wild Berry, Lilac Shimmer, and Iris Shimmer) that provide both shine, and lip conditioning.
Why I like it: Options. I love options. And this set takes the guesswork out of what shade to pick. The Wild Berry shade is perfect for fall or a virtual holiday party (sigh), the Lilac Shimmer is a great day look, and the Iris Shimmer gives that au natural shine that says, “I woke up looking this fabulous!” The thing that makes Beautycounter’s lip glosses so unique is the fact that they ARE NOT STICKY! HALLELUJAH! It’s the simple things.
One of the many things I love about Beautycounter is the fact that they are always on top of the newest and best ways to take care of our skin. This set includes the Countertime Radiance Serum which is the most ingredient concentrated, anti-aging serum we have. It also includes a facial roller, which helps the absorption of the product, increase circulation in the face, and also reduce puffiness. Who doesn’t need a little bit of that after the kids wake you up at the crack of dawn to see if Santa came?
Why I like it: I have been using the entire Countertime line since it first came out and I have seen such an improvement in my skin. It’s brighter, smoother, and I feel like lines and wrinkles have diminished. This set would be a great way to give this line a try!
People always ask me, “What’s your favorite product?” I’ll be honest. It changes. But right now, these two are crossing the finish line at the same time for me. If you’re looking for brightening of the skin and reduction of dark spots, these two buddies are your winning combo. The Counter+ All Bright C Serum is designed to work by day using turmeric, and vitamin C, and the Overnight Resurfacing Peel is its night time companion packing a punch with alpha hydroxy acids, and beta hydroxy acids.
Why I like it: I use the Counter+ All Bright C Serum literally every morning, and the Overnight Resurfacing Peel every other night. The best thing is it’s actually gentle enough to use every night if you wanted to. I have had clients message me in shock of the difference they see in their skin when they use these two products. So the fact that Beautycounter is offering them as a set is brilliant. These are definitely your one two punch and would be perfect for yourself or your bestie!
Who struggles with dry, chapped lips in the winter? ME! (and my daughters!) I plan on putting this duo by their bedside tables once the snow flies. This set consists of a lip balm and a lip polish that work beautifully together. The polish, made with organic sugar, helps take off dead, dry skin, and then the balm smooths the lips and locks in moisture with murumuru butter. (That’s just fun to say……..murumuru.)
Why I like it: I like this one because my husband can use it too. He’s always looking for a good lip balm for his car and this one has a sweet citrus scent that’s gender neutral. It’s also one of those gifts that anyone would enjoy and use.
Go big or go home! The Cleansing Balm has been a staple with Beautycounter for quite some time and there is a reason. It’s amazing! This holiday season, it comes to us in a deluxe size and you’re going to want to snag this one. This balm is multi-purposed. It not only cleans your face, but it also moisturizes it as well.
Why I like it: The Cleansing Balm is a one stop shop. I use it (especially in the winter when my skin is super dry) to wash my face and remove my makeup. I rub it on my dry face, and then rinse with water and a washcloth. It cleans my face without stripping it of moisture. Then I put it back on like a moisturizer and sleep in it overnight. It’s not greasy, nor does it stain my pillow. It’s been a game changer. Fun fact. I also figured out it takes off temporary tattoos from my kids’ arms without rubbing them raw. Bonus!
This year has been all about #selfcare and this set is perfect for that. Beautycounter recently reformulated our Sugar Scrub and now we have an all-new Sugarbuff Body Polish made with fine milled sugar and botanical oils. I can’t tell you how amazing this scrub smells! It comes with a 3.4 fl oz bottle of the Body Glow Illuminating Lotion. This is a lightweight lotion that has a slight shimmer in it created by responsibly sourced mica.
Why I like it: I have been using the Beautycounter body scrub, for years and have found it incredibly helpful with my daughters’ dry skin. My oldest had eczema when she was younger and the scrub was a lifesaver. It really helps get the dry skin off while moisturizing all at the same time. The Body Glow Illuminating Lotion is incredibly flattering and offers that slight glow that looks so pretty on your neck or shoulders. Love this one.
This is a trio of body butters in three different scents. (Calm, Uplift, and Balance) If you’re looking for a gift that will spoil someone, stop right here. These butters are creamy and hydrating yet they absorb quickly. They are formulated with shea butter and sunflower oil for maximum moisturizing.
Why I like it: I love gift sets like this one because I can break it up and make separate gift bags for people. You could throw in a few of your other favorite things and it becomes a unique gift that will surely be a hit.
Everyone loves a good hand cream. It’s one of those gifts that always gets used, and this one is no different. This trio has three scents (Calm, Uplift, and Balance) just like the Body Butters. They are lightweight and small enough to put in your purse or gym bag.
Why I like it: Again, I love that this set can be broken up and paired with other gifts. The complementary scents work beautifully with the Body Butter Trio and also make great hostess gifts!
Why Should I Gift Beautycounter?
When you give your friends and loved ones Beautycounter products you’re not just giving them a product. You’re giving them safer beauty. They are enjoying safer products that they can feel confident using knowing they have been formulated with their health in mind. You are also introducing them to a company that cares about people and our planet, and one that is making incredible strides in those areas.
Who are you going to spoil this year? Thanks to Beautycounter there’s something for everyone. Maybe that someone is YOU!